Anakin gives himself a day to mourn. One day to cry and scream and curse the universe for being unfair. One day to stop missing Obi-Wan Kenobi.
He spends the next day, which turns into another day, which turns into a week, consoling Ahsoka, helping her pick up the pieces left by her Grandmaster’s death while avoiding his own broken pieces scattered around him.
Anakin doesn’t comm Padmé, not even when his comm is blinking with dozens of messages. He does his best to cut off attachment and be the Jedi that Obi-Wan always wanted him to be.
But Anakin isn’t a Jedi without Obi-Wan. There is no Anakin without him. But Obi-Wan is gone now.
And all Anakin is alone.
“You mean we’re just going to do nothing?” Ahsoka’s question borders on accusing. She’s angry, Anakin can recognize, and he knows he would be too if he weren’t trying so damn hard to be a good Jedi, “Hardeen is still out there, and you’re okay with that?”
You’re okay with that. Anakin feels his throat get tight. No, Anakin is not fucking okay with that. The closest thing he’s ever had to a father, his best friend, his brother , has been ripped away from him.
“Ahsoka, we can’t,” Anakin tries for the third time, desperately suppressing his own grief, but his padawan will hear none of it.
She dodges the outstretched hand with a sneer, “You mean the Council says we can’t?” Ahsoka takes another step back, “Since when have you ever listened to them? Obi-Wan is dead , and you think now is the time to listen to the Council?”
Anakin can feel it welling up. Can feel the pit in his stomach start to rise past his lungs until he can’t breathe, up to his esophagus and spilling out of his mouth like vomit. “ Obi-Wan gave me everything!” And he can’t stop, the words are just pouring out, and Anakin can’t stop, “He gave me everything, and I just spit it back in his face every chance I got. I couldn’t keep him safe when he needed it, and I - I -”
Ahsoka gapes at him, all righteous anger vanishing from her body, “Master,” She reaches towards him with a trembling hand, and it makes Anakin’s heart bleed to sidestep it.
“I can’t… I’m - I have to go meditate,” Anakin mumbles, swiping furiously at the tears that drip down his face. He’s angry and sad, everything that a Jedi shouldn’t be. He needs to fix himself. He needs to be better.
Ahsoka catches him in a hug before he can go anywhere, lithe muscles squeezing him as tight as she can, “Obi-Wan wouldn’t want you to feel like this,” Her words are muffled in his chest, but Anakin can still hear them.
Anakin lets himself sink into her embrace for just a second, just one second that he ends up regretting because Jedi don’t need casual touches like this. He lets himself hug his padawan back for just a moment before pulling himself from her embrace.
“Obi-Wan would have wanted me to be a Jedi,” He can’t stand the way her eyes stare at him, full of pity, so he turns and flees back to their rooms, praying all the while that Ahsoka will stop him and pull him into another hug.
Anakin is still angry and sad, he discovers after meditation alludes him, like it always does, for over two hours. He’ll never be able to fix himself. He’ll never be able to be better. He’s just…
Anakin peers down at his metal hand, glove discarded when Anakin decided he needed to see another reason to hate himself, and around at the droid parts scattered across the ground.
He’s just bad code.
Later that night, Anakin lay awake in his bed, a steady thrum of peacerelaxationsleep from Ahsoka’s end of the bond and a gaping voice where Obi-Wan’s bond used to be. He thinks vaguely of when he was nine years old and hadn’t even been in the Temple for a week. He remembers sneaking through the halls, trying to pass unseen when he should have been in class, and overhearing Master Ti talking to Master Unduli.
“No one should ever outlive their master. Not like this.” Master Ti had murmured, her long striped montrals twitching in sadness.
Master Unduli reached out and squeezed her forearm, “Obi-Wan will be okay. He’s always been the strongest of us all,”
Anakin lays there now, having outlived a master that died too young who outlived his master that died too young and can’t help but wonder if it’s the beginning of a trend.
Will Ahsoka be next? Will she be caught holding his dead body just like she did Obi-Wan’s? Is Ahsoka doomed to the same grief that Anakin is feeling? That Obi-Wan felt all those years ago?
No. Anakin won’t let that happen.
This is his own fault, honestly. Anakin has always been too attached. Too passionate, too impulsive, too abrasive, too much.
If Anakin had been a better Jedi, he wouldn’t be feeling this ache that hollowed out his chest cavity and called it home.
His gaze drifts over to the corner of his room, where a bookshelf lined with various books sits. Almost hidden behind a mass of books about mechanics and engineering is a children’s book. Embarrassingly thin with giant letters that were easy to see. Anakin almost smiles, thinking about the big tooka cat he knows is on the cover.
He remembers admitting to Obi-Wan, tears in his eyes, that he didn’t know how to read. He had been staring at the assignments he had been giving, and the letters swirled around his head and danced behind his eyelids, and he couldn’t understand a damn thing.
“Anakin, you just need to focus,” Obi-Wan told him in that long-suffering way. He always had that tone with Anakin, like Anakin was being willfully obstinate and thought he was too good for homework.
“I don’t know what it says,” Anakin tried again, eyes trained on the tablet with unintelligible words.
Obi-Wan sighed through his nose, “Well, of course, you don’t. It’s new material, so you can’t expect to be an expert right away. It takes time and practice-”
“I can’t read!” Anakin finally shrieks, hands winding into his hair and pulling to distract from the daunting words that blink up at him.
He didn’t get more than two tugs in before Obi-Wan’s hands were extracting his from their death grip on his hair.
“Oh, Anakin,” Obi-Wan held Anakin’s hands in his own, softly rubbing his thumb across his bony wrists, “I’m so sorry, Padawan, I should have known,”
Obi-Wan didn’t let Anakin apologize. Every time he tried to, Obi-Wan would cut him off and hear absolutely none of it.
The two of them traveled to the Archives, where Jocasta Nu was already waiting with a stack of beginner’s level books and no judgment in her eyes. She gave them a secluded corner, where no one could hear Anakin trying to sound out words or Obi-Wan gently correcting him.
The first book he ever read in its entirety was One Tooka Two Tooka Blue Tooka, and Obi-Wan was so proud of him he snuck it out of the Archives for Anakin to keep.
“Our little secret,” He whispered with a wink, pressing the book into Anakin’s hands.
Anakin is pulling the book from its little cranny before his brain catches up with his body.
He skims his fingers over the creases in the cover, proof of how well-loved it was, before thumbing it open to the first page.
He can be attached for just one more day.
“Well done, Padawan,” Anakin praises, hiding the way his fists clench in the billow sleeves of his robe.
He pretends not to notice the way Ahsoka’s eyes dim at the lackluster praise, not at all like the commendation she would have gotten when Anakin was attached. He pretends not to let it bother him.
“Thank you, Master,” She murmurs and straightens up on the training mats.
Anakin can feel the cheers gathering on his tongue. He’s practically choking on all of the applause he wants to give her, but he swallows it down and settles for a single nod before gesturing for Ahsoka to begin again.
He picks at his new beige tunic and pretends not to think of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
“Obi-Wan wouldn’t want you to act like this.”
Anakin blinks in surprise. His unimpressed padawan stares back at him.
“Excuse me?” Anakin clicks his datapad off and stares back at her.
She shifts her weight and crosses her arms, “Obi-Wan wouldn’t want you to act like this,” She repeats, “He would want you to move on.”
Anakin feels the void in his chest rear its ugly head, creeping up his throat and beginning to force his mouth open to spit venom. He clenches his jaw and forces the beast down.
“Well,” He finally stands up, “I want him to be alive.” The words hang uncomfortably in the air, and Anakin wants to suck them back in just so that Ahsoka’s eyes don’t look so wounded.
He leaves without waiting for Ahsoka’s response.
Disappointment boils up, threatening to bubble over. Even after all the work he’s done, Anakin is still too attached. And everyone can see it.
At night, he promises to be less attached in the morning, just like he always does.
“Skywalker,” Windu sits up in his chair.
Anakin steps to the center of the Council room and stoutly ignores the sense of unease he gets at only seeing Masters Windu and Yoda in their chairs.
This is perfectly fine.
“Masters,” Anakin greets cordially, “Is this about Hardeen’s escape from prison?”
He heard about the news from Ahsoka, who had handled it much like someone would handle a bomb. She treated Anakin like a youngling that would throw a tantrum at any moment. She seemed almost disappointed when Anakin didn’t have an outward reaction.
“How awful,” Anakin had said, hiding the way his nails dug into his flesh palm, “I can speak with Master Yoda if you wish to try and catch him.”
Ahsoka’s mouth opened and closed before she finally shook her head, “No, Master,” She whispered, stepping backward. “No, I trust the Council’s judgment,” Even though she didn’t say it, Anakin still heard the ‘Just like you’ added to the end of her sentence.
He hated the way she looked at him like a stranger.
“In a way,” Windu responds cryptically, leaning forward in his seat.
“About Master Kenobi, this is,” Master Yoda’s ears twitch in time with the surge of sorrow in Anakin. He shoves the feeling to the black hole in his heart before speaking.
“What about Ob… Master Kenobi?” The slip-up nearly makes Anakin snarl. He’s still too familiar with his dead master. His master, whose murderer is still out there while Anakin struggles to even think of his name.
The two masters share a look, and in an unspoken agreement, Windu speaks.
“He’s still alive.”
It’s just three words. Three words that shatter Anakin’s carefully pieced together facade. Three words that send Anakin spiraling out his own body.
“Oh.” Anakin can see his mouth form the words and hear them reach his ears, but it doesn’t feel like him.
“‘Oh?’” Windu echoes, thick eyebrow raised as if challenging Anakin to react further.
Anakin sees his own shoulders slump and his mouth move again, “What wonderful news.”
The words sound raw and tight even to his own far away ears. Yoda and Windu must be so disappointed in him.
Yoda taps his stick against his chair, and Anakin’s eyes feel heavy as they shift to look at the Grand Master. “Is that all, to say, you have, hmm?” Yoda’s ears rise in anticipation, and Anakin can see how Windu leans forward in his seat as well.
Anakin stays silent. If he opens his mouth, he might not be able ever to stop screaming.
“Master Kenobi has been undercover, as Rako Hardeen, to foil the attempts to kidnap the Chancellor,” Master Windu continues, but only half of his words reach Anakin’s ears.
A part of Anakin remembers how the Chancellor kept trying to meet with him, and when they did finally talk, he tried to push Anakin to be the one to recapture him. Anakin refused to take even a step in Rako Hardeen’s direction. He feared, if he did, he might kill him.
Anakin feels himself getting sucked back into his body, but he feels all wrong, as if he’s been positioned incorrectly in his skin. His eyes drift to the speeders flying across the large window behind Master Yoda’s seat.
“I think,” The words spill out of Anakin’s mouth like mud, thick and sticky, “That I need to excuse myself if that’s alright with you, Masters,”
Anakin doesn’t wait for confirmation before he’s peeling out of the Council room and stumbling off to his rooms.
The way his confusion and grief radiates off of him ensures no one attempts to approach him as he flounders like a drunk down the halls.
Once he slaps the code into the keypad and seals the door behind him, he vaguely registers how he can’t kriffing remember how he got to his rooms, but instead focuses on not stepping on droid parts on his way to his bedroom.
He ignores the light blinking steadily on his vambrace and falls into his bed. The pillows, Anakin figures, will soak up whatever tears manage to escape, and maybe he’ll exhaust himself enough to fall asleep.
His bedroom, it seems, is a cesspit of attachment.
When Anakin wakes, he feels right in his skin again, no longer positioned strangely as he had before Masters Yoda and Windu.
That’s the first thing he registers.
The second is the hushed voices speaking outside his door.
The third is the way his skull is about to fracture into pieces.
Anakin pulls himself out of bed and hopes his clothes aren’t too wrinkled. He plans on wearing them for at least another day.
“Ahsoka, you know what I told you about bringing people over,” Anakin scrubs at his eyes as his door opens. He needs caf if he wants to get through the rest of this day.
“There’s not an exception even for me?”
The cultured voice makes Anakin freeze. The ceramic mug he had pulled down from a cabinet creaks in protest as his grip tightens.
Obi-Wan Kriffing Kenobi stands in his living room, stubble just barely gracing his head. His hand, his lively and no longer stiff hand, is resting on Ahsoka’s shoulder, who can’t seem to stop herself from leaning into the touch. One of her hands is tangled into the sleeve of Obi-Wan’s tunic.
He’s practically bald, A hysterical part of Anakin thinks.
“I see you’ve copied my look,” Obi-Wan nods to Anakin’s beige outfit when he doesn’t say anything in response.
The cup shatters in Anakin’s hand.
Obi-Wan jerks in place, mouth twisting in a frown that doesn’t have a beard to hide behind, “Anakin-”
“I need to go,” Anakin whirls on his heel and flees from his own apartment, leaving behind a little trail of blood from the ceramic shards that got stuck in the palm of his hand.
Anakin doesn’t stop running (because that’s what he’s doing. Running. Like an attached coward ) until he reaches the training rooms.
Two initiates halt their sparring practice as soon as they see Anakin enter, face pale and hand still bleeding.
The initiates power off their sabers.
“Knight Skywalker?” One of them asks, taking a tentative step forward.
Anakin bares his teeth like a feral tooka, “ I said get out!”
The two practically trip over themselves in their haste to leave.
Anakin stands in the middle of the room for a moment or two after they're gone before he finally draws his saber from his belt. The sting of the metal against the open gashes on his hand is grounding, and Anakin relishes in it as he begins his first kata.
He will deal with Obi-Wan Kenobi later.
Anakin does not deal with Obi-Wan Kenobi later.
In fact, Anakin continues his disappearing act whenever he sees Obi-Wan appear around the corner for the next week.
When Anakin is called into a Council meeting, he can see the way that most everyone’s eyes flicker from him to Obi-Wan, as if expecting some type of tearful reunion, or perhaps bloodshed.
Anakin himself doesn’t know which he’d prefer.
But he keeps himself composed. He offers a singular Good to have you back, Master , and chooses not to comment on the awkward stage his hair and beard are in as they grow back. He chooses not to launch himself at Obi-Wan, whether to hug or beat him he doesn’t know, and instead ignores his entire existence.
Anakin is a good Jedi.
His desire to be a good Jedi becomes more challenging when he and Obi-Wan are sent on missions together, just like the old days.
The 501st can sense the tension in the air, but no one dares broach the subject, not even Rex.
It’s only Cody that approaches Anakin on the first night in hyperspace.
“General, Sir,” he greets cordially, helmet pinned under his arm.
Anakin blinks himself out of his haze, “Commander,” He smiles thinly, “What can I do for you?”
Cody frowns and shifts, not so much like he’s nervous but instead like he’s trying to figure Anakin out. “I just wanted to offer myself as a… venting outlet,” He finally answers, and Anakin almost feels like he could weep.
He knows that it’s been hard for Cody and the 212th too. Anakin had been the one to tell them the news over hologram, and they weren’t even allowed to go to his funeral because they had been sent on some private mission.
Anakin had seen the way Cody and the men, even some of his own boys in blue, pulled Obi-Wan into a dogpile. He didn’t stay long, though. Anakin feared that if he stayed any longer than he already had, he might have joined them.
“Oh,” Anakin shifts his weight because he , unlike the commander, is nervous, “Uhm, I appreciate that Commander,” He swallows the lump in his throat. His eyes dart towards the door as if expecting Obi-Wan to come wandering in, “But I’m okay. Thank you, though,”
Anakin flees before his mind can convince him that he’s not okay.
It’s easy after that. Anakin develops a system.
Whenever they have to be in the same room, he always makes sure to have at least one person between him and Obi-Wan, and Rex - Force bless him - is still the first to position himself like a barricade.
It was easy until it all went to shit.
Their intel was bad, and they were massively outgunned.
Anakin lost himself in the humming of his lightsaber and the pops of his men’s blasters. He could feel the exhaustion setting in, and every fallen soldier felt like a shot to the solar plexus, but he couldn’t stop now.
“General Kenobi is down!” Cody’s voice, bordering on frantic, crackled through Anakin’s com, “ I repeat, Kenobi is down! Does anyone have a visual?”
Anakin narrowly avoids a blaster shot aimed at his face. The blood in his ears is roaring now, and exhaustion feels as far away as it does after seven cups of caf.
He can see Obi-Wan’s crumpled form about 30 feet away and the group of battle droids that are slowly beginning to surround him.
“No!” Anakin is closing the distance between them without a second, though. He throws his hand out to send a Force assisted push towards the first wave of droids, but for every one that he dispels, two more pop up.
Obi-Wan, when he finally reaches him, is bleeding from the temple and the smell of singed flesh from a blaster wound fills Anakin’s nose.
Anakin calls Obi-Wan’s fallen saber to his hand and shifts into Jar’Kai easily.
It’s less graceful and more desperate. Anakin’s movements are lightning quick but lack all of his usual finesse. He deflects as many blaster shots as he can, dodging those that he can’t, and feels the Force vibrate in his teeth .
Obi-Wan groans from where Anakin has him bracketed between his feet.
Anakin feels sweat roll down his temples and drips down his chin. He can’t move his feet as much as he’d like, or else he risks exposing Obi-Wan to any stray shot. He can feel the heat from the lightsabers, which only increase with every blaster shot they deflect.
He just needs to hold out until reinforcements come, which at this rate may be never.
“Obi-Wan?” Anakin has to shout over the blaster fire, even though Obi-Wan is right beneath him, “Obi-Wan, can you hear me?”
Obi-Wan groans again, and Anakin grits his teeth.
No. He will not lose Obi-Wan again, not when he just got him back.
Anakin screams in time with the Force in his ears and throws both hands out, sending a massive shove that has the entire battalion that was converging on the two of them flying into the air, and their impact, once they hit the ground, crushes them instantly.
Anakin staggers, back foot nudging against Obi-Wan, who’s glazed eyes flutter open.
“An’kin,” He slurs out, blinking sluggishly at him.
“We’re okay,” Anakin whispers, and his knees buckle under his weight.
He twists his body just enough to avoid crushing Obi-Wan and now lies shoulder to shoulder with his injured master.
Anakin’s shoulder and thigh aches, and the smell of burnt flesh have tripled. His eyes drift downwards to the twin blaster shots that he somehow missed.
He drags his eyes back to Obi-Wan to ensure that he is still breathing and that no stray shots hit him, and is just present enough to be relieved with how Obi-Wan’s chest rises and falls, even if it is stilted.
Anakin feels the selfishness and attachment that surrounds his apartment on Coruscant creep up in his bones. He slides one hand through the dirt and gravel until it rests on Obi-Wan’s chest. He feels the continued rise and fall of his chest and finally allows himself to close his eyes.
Anakin wakes up to the aftertaste of bacta. He coughs and sputters as he tries to sit up, but firm hands push him back down onto the bed.
“You’ll stay down, Knight Skywalker,”
Anakin mumbles something unintelligible, scrunching his eyes shut before forcing them open, “W’s happened?”
Vokara Che stares down at him, thoroughly unimpressed, “You overexerted yourself. Again.” She taps at a datapad before fiddling with the IV injected in Anakin’s flesh arm, “You and your master never learn, do you?”
“Obi-Wan,” Anakin rips his arm out of her grip and flings his legs off the bed, “Where’s Obi-Wan?” With shaky fingers, he yanks the IV out of his forearm.
Anakin dodges Vokara’s outstretched hand and stumbles away from his bed. He glances down and realizes for the first time that he’s in a hospital gown. Is my ass out? Anakin twists so that Vokara Che doesn’t have a clear view of his pale cheeks.
Oh, Force, his ass is out, he’s wearing a dress, and he still doesn’t know where Obi-Wan is.
“Madame Che has there been any update on- Anakin?”
Anakin whirls around, one hand keeping the open back of his gown closed as best he can, “ Obi-Wan!” Open robes be damned, he flings himself at his old master, crashing into his chest and wrapping around him like a parasite.
“Anakin?” Obi-Wan seems almost confused by the sudden affection, and Anakin hates himself for it, but he wraps his arms around him all the same.
Anakin holds him tighter and feels his eyes get misty when Obi-Wan buries his face into the crook of Anakin’s neck.
Perhaps Obi-Wan isn’t as unattached as he thought.
“Skywalker, sit down!” Vokara Che pulls Anakin back by his shoulder, and he winces at the sting of pain but smiles through it because Obi-Wan is here.
Obi-Wan sits next to him on the bed, switching between staring intently at him and Madame Che as she explains how long Anakin was in the Halls of Healing and how long his recovery will take.
Anakin stares at him, eyes taking in every breath he takes and how his hair has finally grown into a length like before his undercover mission.
The thought of the Hardeen debacle threatens to dim Anakin’s mood, but he shakes it away. He’ll figure that out later.
For now, he’ll just enjoy being in Obi-Wan’s presence, just like the good old days.
Later comes sooner than he expected.
Sitting alone in his bedroom, all Anakin can think about is how Obi-Wan died but didn’t trust Anakin enough to tell him that it was fake. He died , and Anakin had to pick up his body from his padawan’s arms and carry him to the ship.
Obi-Wan died, and a piece of Anakin did too.
Later continues well into the next day, and he knows Obi-Wan is hurt by it. Hurt by the sudden wall that Anakin has erected between them as if they didn’t hug each other and hide tears in the other’s neck. It hurts Anakin too, but it hurts less than a dead master.
Or maybe it doesn’t. Anakin is still figuring that out.
The hurt looks that he shoots Anakin when he skirts around Obi-Wan in the halls, or when Rex weasels between them during briefings, and Anakin doesn’t say anything against it.
The wounded expression that Obi-Wan tries to hide when Anakin calls him ‘Master Kenobi’ and refuses to rise to any teasing that’s dangled in front of his face.
Anakin almost thinks he’s able to get away with it until Ahsoka shoves him into a room and locks the door behind him.
“Ahsoka!” Anakin whirls around and smacks the palm of his hand against the door, “Ahsoka, if this is just to get out of lessons, it’s not working!”
“I don’t believe that’s her intention, Anakin.”
Anakin whirls around, back flush to the door, “O-Obi-Wan,” He smacks his fingers furiously against the keypad, but it blinks in rejection, likely from Ahsoka’s tampering.
“Sit down, Anakin,” Obi-Wan sets down the children’s book that Anakin had been reading every night since Obi-Wan’s “death,” and the sight of it makes Anakin flush.
Anakin jerks his head side to side, “No, I really need to-”
“Anakin.” Obi-Wan nods his head towards the couch behind him, “Sit.”
Obi-Wan sits down as well, much too close for Anakin’s liking. If he inches even a smidge closer, Anakin may throw all caution to the wind and burst into tears. He hasn’t been this close to Obi-Wan since his lapse in judgment at the Halls of Healing.
“Tell me why you’ve been avoiding me,” Obi-Wan’s voice leaves no room for argument, and suddenly Anakin feels like a padawan being caught podracing at the lower levels again.
Anakin inhales deeply in a vain attempt to center himself, “I don’t know what you mean. I’ve just been busy, Master Kenobi,”
Obi-Wan’s eyes tighten at the formal title, but he gives no other outward reaction, “No, you’ve been avoiding me,” he insists, “and I know this is about Rako Hardeen.”
This time, Anakin can’t conceal his flinch. It’s a full-body thing that knocks his back against the couch and robs all air from his lungs.
“I know we haven’t had a chance to clear the air about it, and that’s my fault,” Obi-Wan continues, “I should have been more forward about trying to talk with you about it.”
“There’s really nothing to talk about,” Anakin shifts his body away from Obi-Wan, training his eyes on the window even though there isn’t much of a view, “You had a mission, and you completed it. Well done.”
Obi-Wan’s composure finally cracks, “Anakin, that’s bullshit!” He rises to his feet, “I know you, and I know when you’re upset abo-”
“Upset?” Anakin echos, finding his feet as well, “You think I’m just upset?” It’s all coming out again, just like with Ahsoka when Obi-Wan’s death had been fresh and Anakin can’t stop it - doesn’t want to stop it. “You think I just had my feelings hurt by you? Is that it?” Obi-Wan opens his mouth to interject, but Anakin couldn’t stop his words even if his life depended on it, “Obi-Wan, you were dead. My padawan held your body in her arms and watched you die, and then I carried your body back to the ship, and you think I’m upset?”
Obi-Wan falters then, body losing all previous anger that’s replaced with shame, “Anakin-”
“No, you’ll listen to me.” Anakin jabs a finger into his chest, “You’ll listen because that’s the least you can do. I carried your body and then stood at your funeral and pretended like I was okay, all because you used me. You knew I was attached to you, and you used my own failings for the mission. ”
Obi-Wan swats at Anakin’s hand, “Anakin, it was for the Republic, for the Chancellor! Who, might I remind you, is your friend!” He spits the last word with disdain because he’s always been wary of Anakin’s friendship with Palpatine.
“Fuck the Chancellor!” Anakin shrieks, “You think I gave a shit about him when I had to report to the Council that a single blaster shot killed you? And they knew it was fake?” He laughs without humor and doesn’t enjoy Obi-Wan’s flinch as much as he thought he would, “Dammit, Obi-Wan, I thought I was being punished when I found out you were alive. Everyone knew I was attached to you, Force knows I’ve sat through enough lectures about it, so they used my attachment to you to sell your death.”
Anakin shudders at the memory of his two hour long shower when he found out the truth, how he scrubbed his skin until it became raw all because of how dirty and used he felt.
Obi-Wan doesn’t say anything.
“You were dead,” Anakin whispers, all fight gone, “you were dead, and I had to keep living like I didn’t want to throw myself onto a lightsaber.”
Obi-Wan’s eyes widen, and his hand shoots out to grab Anakin’s wrist, “Anakin, you-”
Anakin wrenches his arm from his grip, “Don’t pity me, Obi-Wan,” He hisses, “I wasn’t going to. I know the only reason the Council keeps me around is because I’m your stupid Chosen One. I know what I’m good for.”
He wipes at his face, finally brushing away the tears that had begun to fall at the beginning of his rant, and is horrified to realize that Obi-Wan’s eyes are welling up too.
“Anakin, I never thought you would react this way,” Obi-Wan’s voice almost cracks.
“Well, I’m sorry to disappoint you again.”
Obi-Wan shakes his head and collapses back onto the couch as if his knees could no longer support his weight anymore, “No, that’s not it at all. I didn’t… I didn’t think you cared about me that much. In fact, I thought I cared too much about you. This mission was for me to sort out my own attachments.”
“Your- your attachments?” Anakin echos dumbly, “What could you possibly be attached to?” Obi-Wan Kenobi, the perfect Jedi, have attachments?
Anakin’s knees give out, and he finds himself sitting next to Obi-Wan, almost shoulder to shoulder.
They sit in the silence, each of them stewing in the other’s words until finally-
“Anakin, I’m so sorry,” Obi-Wan turns to face him, one hand snaking out to grab Anakin, “It was foolish of me to think my actions would have no repercussions on those that I… that I loved, and I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you.”
Anakin presses his lips in a thin line to prevent the way they want to twist into an ugly sob, “I think I forgave you a long time ago,” He whispers, squeezing at Obi-Wan’s hand, “But I don’t want you ever to doubt how much you mean to me. We’re… we’re a team, Obi-Wan, The Team. You’re,” His face flushes, and he wants to look away to preserve some shred of dignity, but he can’t. If he doesn’t look Obi-Wan in the eyes when he says this, he’ll never forgive himself, “You’re my best friend. The closest thing I’ll ever have to a brother.”
They stare at each other, both of them with tears dripping down their faces that neither of them bothers to wipe away. They stare until they don’t. Until one of them, perhaps even both at the same time, surge forward to wrap the other into a death grip of a hug.
Anakin brings his knees up on the couch so that he can lean his entire body weight into the hug comfortably, and Obi-Wan bears it all without complaint.
Anakin thinks that he’s the one that sobs first, but once his cry reaches past his lips, Obi-Wan doesn’t bother to hide his own. Like a floodgate, the two of them practically bawl into the other’s shoulder, holding the other impossibly tighter.
They fall asleep like that once their sobs have tapered off. Anakin is practically crushing Obi-Wan beneath him, but Obi-Wan only shifts to a more comfortable position and hugs him tighter.
That’s how Ahsoka finds them when she finally opens the door back up. She sighs in relief and toes off her boots. Finally.
The couch is way too small for two fully grown men, let alone adding a Togruta on the edge of her growth spurt, but Ahsoka climbs onto the sofa and buries herself between Anakin and the back of the couch as best she can.
It’s the best sleep any of them have gotten in months.